Friday, October 19, 2007

Exactly where is Warfield?


Louis Hayward is a resident of Warfield Homestead, near Ketchum.

By LOUIS HAYWARD

During the Castle Rock Fire (which wasn't any where near Castle Creek/Castle Rock), it became increasingly apparent to those of us residing on the Warfield Homestead that the Forest Service, newspaper reporters and the misinformed public-at-large didn't know where we are, where Warfield Hot Springs are located and where Frenchman's Bend is located. Having come into the Warm Springs Creek canyon for 86 years now, I have decided that there is no one living better able to clarify the misinformation/misconception than I.

William Warfield, whom I knew, came to Warm Springs Creek from San Francisco immediately following the earthquake and fire. His wife was severely handicapped by arthritis. Mr. Warfield homesteaded here in hopes the therapeutic effects of the hot springs would lead to his wife's recovery. His hopes were unrealized, as she passed away before I first came here in 1921.

The hot springs lay partly within the Warfield Homestead and partly upstream from his homestead. For some inexplicable reason, Mr. Warfield never filed on these springs. They were named "Warfield Hot Springs" and appear as such on all maps I have ever seen of this area.

Several years ago, the residents of the Warfield Homestead, of which there are some 18 separate homes, occupied and vacant, were having problems involving abusive use of the hot springs. This led to a meeting with the Ketchum Ranger District to formulate reasonable rules applying to their use. For reasons known only to the Creator, Alan Pinkerton, then head of the Ketchum Ranger District, had a sign prepared outlining the rules on which the springs are mistakenly called "Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs." This error has been carried forward by Kurt Nelson, present head of the Ketchum Ranger District, through the posting of a new sign at the end of the paved section of Warm Springs Road which also calls the springs "Frenchman's Bend Hot Springs."

For some reason, my education is lacking because I do not know how Frenchman's Bend received its name. I do know where it is, however, and can state unequivocally that it is about one-quarter mile downstream from the nearest hot springs. So, please, let's change the signs so the springs are called Warfield, or let's start calling Ketchum, Leadville!

One final comment: the Warfield Homestead is about one mile upstream from the Upper Board Ranch. I knew Headley, Francis and Fred Board and am certain they would agree their ranch/sawmill was never a part of the Warfield Homestead or vice versa.

For the record.




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